The World Bank estimates that in some countries as many as half of textbooks are not received by beneficiaries. JSI and World Education, Inc. are implementing The Results Based Financing to Enhance Book Distribution Project in Cambodia to strengthen the book supply chain to ensure children in early grade classrooms have the books they need to learn. Through this strategic partnership, JSI and World Education built a digital tool called Track and Trace, combining JSI’s years of experience in global health supply chains with World Education’s experience and relationships in education systems.
Early grade classrooms in Cambodia often have insufficient supplies of textbooks and supplementary reading materials to meet the needs of all children. Issues with the book supply chain include inaccurate and lengthy book request processes that require projecting needs two years in advance and cumbersome procurement procedures and delayed distribution resulting in books arriving late in the school year. The central ministry lacks visibility into if textbooks and materials reach school classrooms or are lost in transit.
Results-Based Financing to Enhance Book Distribution Project
Through this project JSI, World Education, and the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports have worked together to design the Track and Trace digital tool and pilot it in 400 schools across 2 provinces.
Track and Trace uses simple chatbots through messaging apps for principals and teachers to submit timely book requests. User-friendly dashboards enable the ministry and stakeholders to track in real time book ordering and distribution.
The project has also engaged school support committee members to receive and report data through Track and Trace so that they have the data needed to effectively advocate to ensure their children have the books they need.
Track and Trace has proved to be an affordable, easy to use system that enables the ministry to ensure books reach the classrooms at the right time, in the right quantity and in the right condition and to monitor the performance of private distribution companies.
The Ministry of Education has acknowledged the importance of this system and has declared there is “no turning back”. The ministry has committed to scaling Track and Trace to all schools throughout the country and will assume full ownership of the software system. Over the next year JSI and World Education plans to support the ministry in building their capacity and structures to ensure that the Track and Trace system is sustainable.
Through this unique and exciting partnership, JSI and WEI provide complementary skills and leadership. As a global leader in supply chain management, JSI brings lessons and best practices in forecasting, distribution and logistics management information systems to textbook supply chains. World Education’s 30 plus years working in Cambodia provided the context and relationships to ensure feasibility and sustainability.